MORNING RUSH: news, sport, weather, traffic and online buzz

8.46am That's it from us this morning. Tune in tomorrow for Tuesday's edition of the Rush. Have a cracking Monday!

8.44am Travelling to Sydney? Expect some SLOW traffic through Mascot between General Holmes Drive & the M5 tunnel.

8.42am LOCAL NEWS: Illawarra residents are being urged to check their pets for paralysis ticks every day as the season for the little critters begins.

*Reporter Kate Walsh has the full story here.

8.40am Feeling like this? We know, it's Monday. It's hard.

8.38am TRAFFIC ALERT - Corrimal: Reports of lights flashing yellow in Corrimal (Memorial Drive at Railway Street).

8.36am LOCAL SPORT: A second half hat-trick from Chris Price propelled the South Coast Wolves to an emphatic 4-1 win over Marconi Stallions on Sunday to help rubber stamp their life in the NSW National Premier League Men's 1 for another season.

8.34am NATIONAL: A controversial deal to allow Australia to send refugees to Cambodia is imminent and could be signed as early as this week, sources have told Fairfax Media

8.32am There were plenty of dolphins on show at Jervis Bay yesterday. Dolphin watchers were treated to several pods of bottlenose dolphins. Lovely!

8.30am Quentin Bryce (beautiful lady that she is!) is set to chair a new Domestic and Family Violence Taskforce in QLD. The taskforce will report back to the state's premier by the end of February 2015 with recommendations to inform the development of a domestic and family violence strategy.

8.28am Good on local lad Josh Rugiano. The Berkeley actor has returned from the United States covered in glory, bringing home four medals and a prestigious scholarship after enjoying success at the World Championships Of Performing Arts. Well done!

8.26am NATIONAL: Child sex offenders who change their name without permission to avoid scrutiny, face five years in prison under toughened child protection laws.

8.24am Oh Miley. Our dear friend Ms Cyrus decided to have a little wee in the bushes over the weekend - and she shared a photo of her "popping a squat" with her millions of Instagram followers. Nice.

8.22am SPORT: Did you watch the A-League All Stars v Juventus match over the weekend? Here's the full match report if you missed it - the All Stars went down 3-2.

8.18am If you're after a longer read this morning, delve into this yarn on the volunteers who give up their time to help criminals with intellectual disabilities.

8.16am SYDNEY: Sydney property is flying off the shelves. An auction clearance rate of 80 per cent on the weekend is an encouraging sign for Sydneysiders planning to sell property this spring. NB I'd say it's a similar story in the Illawarra - can any real estate agents help us out?!

8.14am CELEB GOSS ALERT: David Arquette "doubts" he'll be invited to ex-wife Courtney Cox's upcoming nuptials. But he insists the pair are "tight". Hmm.

8.12am Congrats to Sydney band Glab who took out the 2014 Original LP band competition. We've got all the details from Saturday night's final here.

8.10am In honour of Shark Week (as mentioned earlier), I invite you to take this fascinating quiz - "what shark are you?" You know you've always wondered...

8.08am Speaking of sport, the final day of the US PGA tour is playing out as we speak. Click here to see all the action live.

8.06am SPORT: Go Usain! The sprint champion had a very boozy night out in some of London's hottest nightclubs. NB Even the world's fastest man deserves a night off!

8.04am NATIONAL: Sick asylum seekers on Christmas Island are being offered videoconference appointments with specialists on the Australian mainland after damning evidence showed the deplorable state of medical services in immigration detention.

8.02am LOCAL NEWS: Motorcyclists wore their hearts on their leather sleeves on the seventh annual Ride for Mental Illness Awareness on Sunday.

*Health reporter Lisa Wachsmuth has the full story here.

8am CELEB GOSS ALERT: Kim Kardashian is cashing in on her love of taking pictures of herself. She's releasing a book called "Selfies" - a collection of hundreds of her selfies.

7.56am Good morning if you're just tuning in! We're in for a mostly sunny morning with a chilly top of just 14 degrees. All is good on the roads & rail.

7.54am WORLD NEWS: At least 39 people were killed yesterday when an Iran-140 Sepahan Air passenger plane crashed after takeoff from Tehran's Mehrabad airport on a flight to Tabas in northeast Iran, state media reported.

7.52am Were you out & about in the Illawarra last week? Were you snapped by our photographers? Check out our social pics gallery to see if you know any of these faces.

7.50am STRANGE BUT TRUE: An expert in the UK has called for a ban to be placed on children heading the ball when playing soccer with concerns it can cause brain injuries. Really!?

7.46am Love dessert? A self-confessed sweet tooth? Then you'll LOVE this round-up of the 13 must-try dessert spots across the world. Why not dedicate an international sojourn to sweets!? Yum.

7.44am LOCAL NEWS: Shellharbour MP Anna Watson says the southern Illawarra is set to miss out on a free shuttle bus, similar to the one operating in Wollongong. Ms Watson said Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian had rejected her request to provide money for a feasibility study into a free Shellharbour City shuttle bus.

*Reporter Glen Humphries has the full story here.

7.42am This will make your morning - take two minutes and enjoy this compilation of puppies sneezing. Too funny.

7.40am NATIONAL: Three former Australians of the Year, including Nobel laureate Peter Doherty, have signed an open letter to PM Tony Abbott calling for climate change to be included on the agenda for the G20 leaders summit to be held in Brisbane in November.

7.38am The WEC has just announced Bobby Bruce will star in the Beautiful Noise Tour, performing the songs of Neil Diamond. The show is on November 8. Tickets go on-sale on Wednesday via

7.34am LOCAL SPORT: Thirroul seized their first minor premiership since 2008 with a come-from-behind 20-18 victory over Wests in a thriller at Gibson Park on Saturday.

7.32am Saw this one yesterday & had a good giggle. Save it for later in the week & post on your own social media accounts.

7.30am NATIONAL: NSW electricity distribution companies are reducing their intake of apprentices and will not offer their usual annual intake early next year. The ''poles and wires'' businesses Endeavour, Ausgrid and Essential Energy have confirmed they are postponing any recruitment of apprentices and that any future intake is ''likely to be reduced''.

7.28am Are you a closeted baker? Keen to create cakes & biscuits but can't tell your self-raising flour from your bi-carb soda? Don't fret - here's a great "baking for beginners" guide, courtesy of the SMH's Good Food. Test it out!

7.26am Did you get to the South Coast Ballroom Spectacular yesterday? If you missed out, here's a gallery of pics from the sold-out event.

7.24am If you're having a crappy Monday morning, sit back, take a deep breath & celebrate in the news that your life is probably better than Justin Bieber's. Here's a pic of him in a strange towel/undies get-up to help the cause!

7.22am Check out this incredible picture of Europe by night. Amazing.

7.20am MH17: Relatives of those lost in the crash of flight MH17 have been invited to decide how they want their loved ones' remains to return home, as forensic work in The Netherlands begins to identify the Australian dead.

7.18am STRANGE BUT TRUE: OMG this "strange but true" is truly disgusting. A $50 Bloody Mary in the US comes with a WHOLE FRIED CHICKEN in the glass. Eww. The "Chicken Fried Bloody Beast" is completely, 100 per cent GROSS!

7.16am Congratulations to all who were cast in the Arcadian's production of Thoroughly Modern Millie - looks like it will be a great show!

7.14am LOCAL NEWS: Community persistence has paid off for Keiraville and Gwynneville residents, with Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery set to propose a traffic study of the area.

*Reporter Kate Walsh has the full story here.

7.12am I love this - a gallery of lazy cats. Too good.

7.10am MOVIE NEWS: Looking forward to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles remake? Well, the clever kids at BuzzFeed have put together a little gallery, comparing the new film to the 1990 movie. And oh MAN did the 1990 movie SUCK in comparison!

7.08am NATIONAL: The expense of alcohol is driving Australia's high rates of illicit drug use, health experts say, as new figures show Australia's combination of high levels of use and expensive illicit substances buck international trends.

7.06am BREAKING WORLD NEWS: Crews are working to rescue up to 24 people who are stuck on a roller coaster at a theme park in Maryland in the US. NB this is why I don't ride roller coasters!

7.04am LOCAL NEWS: The traffic chaos that plagued the inaugural Bulli Foragers Markets in July has subsided despite thousands turning out for the second artisan markets, held on Sunday.

*Reporter Bree Fuller has the full story here.

7.02am Apparently it's Shark Week in the US! Happy Shark Week to all.

7am NATIONAL: A Sydney bar that sold drinks marketed as "Moonshine" out of jerry cans and a pub manager who offered to shout the bar if NSW was ahead at half time in State of Origin are among scores of venues statewide that have been caught out during a crackdown on inappropriate and reckless drinking promotions.

6.58am SPORT: Three-time Nascar champion Tony Stewart will not race after he struck and killed a sprint car driver. Kevin Ward Jr had crashed after making contact with Stewart and then climbed from his car to confront him on the darkened track. The whole incident was captured on video.

6.56am Good morning if you're just tuning in! We're in for a mostly sunny morning with a chilly top of just 14 degrees. All is fine on our roads. There is a car breakdown @ Mascot (General Holmes Drive near the Airport tunnel), affecting citybound traffic. Expect delays. All is good on the rail.

6.54am CELEB NEWS: Whitney Houston would have been 51 yesterday. Her daughter, Bobbi Kristina, baked a cake in her honour.

6.52am WORLD NEWS: Islamic State militants have killed at least 500 members of Iraq's Yazidi minority, burying some alive and taking hundreds of women as slaves, an Iraqi government minister told Reuters on Sunday.

6.50am STRANGE BUT TRUE: A British couple discovered an unexpected treat when the bought a soda from KFC - a live moth. The bug was found fluttering around inside their drink. Ewwwwwwwwww.

6.48am TIARA ALERT: Woman's Day is reporting that Princess Mary and Prince Frederik have shared some happy holiday baby news – and it could be twins! Watch this space.

6.46am Anyone else planning a wedding? These 21 lies every bride tells themselves are HILARIOUS! Enjoy.

6.44am LOCAL SPORT: Forward Tim Coenraad poured in 32 points to lead the Wollongong Hawks to a thrilling 106-99 overtime victory over the touring Eastern Kentucky University team on Sunday at the Snakepit.

6.42am NATIONAL: Young job seekers are paying up to $2000 to get work experience as unpaid interns, raising concerns about the potential for exploitation and an unfair playing field for those unable to afford the opportunities.

6.40am STRANGE BUT TRUE: A 78-year-old Florida woman has tried to board a plane in Detroit with $41,000 cash strapped to her body. As you do.

6.38am CELEB GOSS ALERT: Kourtney Kardashian, what were you thinking?! The pregnant reality TV star stepped out in a white, lace onesie. Yep, you read right. Check it out below. Not good people, not good.

6.36am Love kitties? So did we over the weekend - the Mercury checked out all the action at the ANCATS All Breeds Cat Show. Check out our gallery of pics here.

6.34am SYDNEY: If you missed this yesterday, a 27-year-old runner in Sydney's City2Surf race died after suffering a suspected cardiac arrest just metres from the finish line.

6.32am So I know we had baby hedgehogs earlier but I found baby otters! BABY OTTERS!

6.30am TV NEWS: Good news for SeaChange fans! The show's onscreen love birds William McInnes and Sigrid Thornton are set to act together in an upcoming play at the Melbourne Theatre Company.

6.27am WORLD NEWS: Palestinian negotiators yesterday said they had accepted an Egyptian proposal for a new 72-hour truce with Israel, clearing the way for a possible resumption of talks on a long-term ceasefire arrangement in the Gaza Strip.

6.26am LOCAL NEWS: Police are appealing for information after a boy was reportedly approached near Shellharbour on Saturday morning. Click here for the full story.

6.24am CELEB GOSS ALERT: Jay Z & Beyonce have been reportedly hiding out at good friend Gywneth Paltrow's place to avoid the press. Apparently the couple stayed at Gwyn's Brentwood estate during their On the Run tour.

6.22am SYDNEY: Illegal warehouse parties have proliferated since the state's liquor laws were changed, according to club owners and music promoters, who say the partygoers are trying to escape 1.30am lockouts and 3am last drinks in the CBD and Kings Cross.

6.20am Wollongong Workshop Theatre is calling for submissions for its 2015 season. Ever wanted to direct a show? Now's your chance! Send ideas to the email address below.

6.18am LOCAL SPORT: The Dragons finals hopes were left in free fall on Sunday, following a 16-4 loss to the second-placed Panthers at WIN Stadium.

6.17am Did you see the supermoon last night? Some of our readers got some GREAT pics of the moon. We'll have the pics up on our website later this morning.

6.14am Cute animal alert! People, I bring you some baby hedgehogs. A perfect way to start your Monday morning.

6.12am TV NEWS: Did you watch The Voice Kids last night? *SPOILER ALERT* if you missed it, the show's youngest contestant Alexa, 10, was crowned the winner. Here's a full recap.

6.11am WORLD NEWS: Ebola, one of the world's most fatal diseases, has surfaced in Africa's most populous country. Nigerian health officials have announced nine confirmed cases and two deaths in the country from the Ebola outbreak that is sweeping West Africa.

6.10am LOCAL NEWS: The new Wollongong nightclub event, Ables, was held over the weekend & it looks like it was a huge success. The night was aimed at people with disabilities. Check out our gallery of pics below.

6.08am MH17: PM Tony Abbott has just arrived in the Netherlands, where he is set to thank MH17 investigators.

6.06am And in national news via the SMH:

*The NSW government ignored warnings that moving elderly residents from Millers Point would increase their risk of death, and an official report was altered to downplay the potentially deadly effect of the public housing sell-off.

*One man is dead and another is in a critical condition after they were stabbed multiple times in Redfern, police say.

*The Thai surrogate mother of baby Gammy says his Australian biological parents are “dreaming” if they think they can return to Thailand and claim the son they are accused of abandoning because he has Down syndrome.

6.04am Here's what's making news in your Mercury today:

*Shell Cove father Darren "Bud" Gottaas has beaten cancer twice but a series of strokes has left him and his family stricken. Click here for more.

*Concerns over the impact of Stockland Shellharbour's $330 million redevelopment on Oak Flats town centre appear to have been unfounded.

*The state government has called for expressions of interest for its new $2.8 billion intercity train fleet which will provide South Coast commuters with "unprecedented levels of comfort, convenience and reliability".

*A man camping illegally on a Wombarra property was the centre of a two-hour siege on Saturday afternoon, sparked when he allegedly pulled out what was later discovered to be a toy gun.

6.02am Let's kick off the morning with the latest traffic & weather.

WEATHER We're in for a mostly sunny morning with a chilly top of just 14 degrees. Expect isolated showers tonight & winds. Surf conditions are a bit wild so be careful if you're heading out there. Right now, it's 5 degrees in Albion Park & 9 in Bellambi. Brr!

TRAFFIC All is good on our roads & for the run to Sydney or south.

TRAINS There is a good service on the South Coast line.

6am Good morning & happy Monday! Welcome to the start of the working week. Stay with your host, Emma Spillett, this morning for all the latest news etc.

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